Hunt report from RSA with Mpumelelo Hunting Safaris/Frederik Cocquyt.
On the 8th of June, 6 Swedes; Thorild, Lennart, Markus, Johan and his girlfriend Jenny and myself departed for South Africa and a hunt in the Limpopo Province with Mpumelelo Hunting safaris managed by Frederick Cocquyt, known as Safari-Hunt here on AR.
-Christer is handing out the tickets-
Along with us came also Christer Hansson (cchunter on the forum) with whom we had booked the hunt. After hours of watching the Saharan sands and the Congo rainforests from the plane, dusk came and it was dark when we touched African ground on Joburgâ€™s airport. Frederick greeted us and helped with clearing the rifles through customs. We then drove to Pretoria and settled for the night at Colbyn Guest House.
The 9th was spent in and around Pretoria where we among other things visited the Voortrekker monument and Paul Krugerâ€™s house.
-Voortrekker monument, Pretoria-
Further, the Transvaal museum was a nice tune up for the coming hunt. Eveningâ€™s dinner at Crawdaddyâ€™s (with Savannah Dry cider and Windhoek Lager to further enhance the feeling of being back in Africa) was a nice way to end the day.
-Crawdaddyâ€™s in Pretoria, try the â€œsurf and turfâ€-
After early breakfast on the 10th, we were met at Colbyn by Peter and Andre, who would assist as PHâ€™s for some of us. After loading the bakkies we left the Pretoria behind us, turned north and headed for the bush. Five hours of driving later, allowing for stops to fill up diesel and one stop for photos at the tropic of Capricorn,
-Just on the line-
we left the tarmac at the town of Alldays. From there we had half an hour on a nice and dusty dirt road before we reached the gate of Bivack Game lodge. The farm of about 3000 hectares is situated on the northern banks of the Magalakwena River where it joins the great Limpopo River, which in turn marks the border between RSA and Botswana. The road from gate to camp runs along the Magalakwena River and sightings of about 15 bushbucks, a herd of impalas along with verve monkeys and lots of birds on our first glimpse of the area got our hopes up. Once in camp, we were positively surprised by the high standards. Nice and large rondavels, atmospheric dining room, pool and a bar felt very luxurious compared to my last stay in Africa when I spent a few months in a rainy Ethiopia sleeping in a flea-infested sleeping bag in my leaking 2-man tent. By the way, I think it would have felt quite luxurious even without such comparisons!
After sighting the rifles, I accompanied Christer, who wanted an impala for caracal bait. A good stalk and a straight shot at 160 metres got him a 23+â€ â€roibokâ€. Not bad for a bait?!
-Me, Christer and Johannes behind the Impala-
From the 11th through the 17th we hunted full-out. Here follows some of the highlights for the others.
Thorild had a rewarding day on the 13th. Frederik has established contacts with other farms in the area, which gives opportunities for hunters in quest for species not present on Bivack. Thorild wanted a Nyala, so he and his PH Andre went to a farm some 30 minutes away. When they returned late in the evening, Thorild with a sunburnt and smiling face told us about a day, which the old moose hunter described as one of the best hunting days in his life. They had spent the whole day on foot. Game was abundant, but dense bush made spotting them difficult. After seeing a good Nyala early in the morning without getting an opportunity to shoot, they had kept strolling around until a group of waterbucks crossed a small clearing about 100 meters in front of them. Andre said the last one was shootable; Thorild had taken the shot with his .338. A short bit of tracking revealed a very dead waterbuck with extremely thick horns and a bullet through his lungs.
-Andre and Torild behind the Waterbuck-
So far everything was well, but what about the Nyala? A short nap and some lunch later, they kept hunting, and as often is the case hard work and persistence pays in the end. They spotted a Nyala standingâ€ frozenâ€ Nyala-style in thick cover at some 80 meters. Rifle in the shooting sticks, the Nyala was getting jumpy and was about too bolt for safety when the .338 went boom. Dead Nyala with beautiful lyre-shaped horns, happy Thorild and satisfied Andre!
-Torild and his Nyala-
Markus, aged 16, got eight good trophies including an ancient Gemsbuck bull with horns thick as baobab trees.
-Pieter and Markus with the old Gemsbuck-
However, I think his highlight of the trip came on the morning of the first hunting day. Frederik and Markus were returning to camp after an eventful morning, when they had seen several good impala rams and some warthogs. No shot had been fired however and I suspect they regarded the morningâ€™s hunting as over and were mostly thinking about the awaiting scrambled eggs and bacon. Suddenly, Frederik slammed the brakes, got out of the bakkie and asked Markus to get the rifle and start walking. The answer to Markusâ€™ unsaid question wasâ€Kuduâ€ and a good stalk later, they came up on a beautiful bull, which when the dust had settled measured slightly over 49 inches.
-A happy hunter and his Kudu-
I guess everyone who hunts Africa wish to get a kudu. To get it when youâ€™re 16 years old and as your first African game must make a far from ordinary memory.
To be continuedâ€¦..
|one of us|
Looks great, but shouldn't this be on the Hunt Report Form??
|one of us|
Nice accomodations and some great animals. That's a really good looking Nyala.
Hunt report from RSA with Mpumelelo Hunting Safaris.
Lennart, an accomplished skeet shooter and hunter back in Sweden, had what I consider a very sound approach to his hunting in Africa. He wanted a Kudu, but didnâ€™t really care what he got, or how much he shot as long as the hunting experience was nice. This laid-back style seemed to pay of well since he got a good and old kudu in the same class as Markusâ€™.
-Lennart and his Kudu-
However, his bushbuck was quite something. I have a soft-spot for the little spiral horned boys with plenty of guts and character, mystically marked coats and sharp barks. It was the day after the Kudu. Lennart was satisfied and intended to stay in camp, but decided to make a try with the PH Peter and Markus for baboon along the Magalakwena River. As it happened, they bumped into a 16â€ bushbuck. A shot that would have made â€Doctariâ€ Robertson shed tears of joy added it to Lennartâ€™s collection of memories and trophies.
-Pieter and Lennart posing with the nice Bushbuck-
Johan, who admits that he has a severe hang-up on pigs, wanted to hunt warthogs. Preferably large ones and as many as possible. He shot four, including some very good ones.
-Johan and one of the Warthogs-
One evening, his girlfriend Jenny came along Johan and Johannes, who comes from Zimbabwe, but now lives at Bivack and holds a PH-license, hunted a riverine thicket. They saw impalas, bushbuck and Johan shot two good warthogs. His Sako .375 also accounted for a 36â€ Gemsbuck bull, steenbok, duiker, impala, bushbuck and baboon.
-Johan and Andre with the 36â€ Gemsbuck-
Christerâ€™s priorities were hippo and croc and if time permitted a caracal. The caracal obviously rejected the offers of impala meat, which were put up as bait. Instead the automatic camera put up at the most promising bait revealed a small spotted genet happily chewing on the then quite smelly meat.
The crocodile however, thatâ€™s another story. We had surveyed parts of the river and found a good place where decent size crocs were abundant. One afternoon, intestines and a shot baboon were put in the shallow water as bait. It was a warm evening and we sat comfortable in the grass under a big tree on the riverbank. Except a kingfisher hovering over the surface, everything was calm. I was prepared fro a few hours wait, but within some 30 minutes crocs appeared from near and far. Some small ones came in, grabbed a slice of waterbuck belly and returned out to the deeper parts where they were met by larger and more cautious relatives. The fighting and eating resulted in lots of splashing and it was quite a show. Then suddenly Frederik whisperedâ€here it comesâ€. A big croc moved slowly in and began chewing on the baboon carcass. I heard Christer whisperâ€can I take it?â€ It only took a second or two from Frederiks answer â€™til the ninethree roared and the crocodile became motionless under a cascade of water with the impact of the 286 grain Rhino bullet. After backslapping and congratulations, the croc was loaded onto the bakkie and taken towards camp for photographs. Johannes and I went with it on the back and I noticed it opened itâ€™s eye slightly.
-The Croc on the bakkie-
However, it didnâ€™t really bother me since I assumed that it was simply a result of the reptileâ€™s nervous system, which as you knows work a bit different from that of mammals. After taking photos, Frederik and Johannes were about to open it and remove the heart, which can beat for several hours despite a shot in the neck or brain. This treatment didnâ€™t suit the croc which measured a bit over two and a half metre. It started to roll and before anyone could do anything it ended up in the river. At this place it was 2 metres deep, but it was possible to locate the croc from bubbles on the surface. After much dragging with branches, Frederik and Johannes who were now down to the waist in the brownish water managed to get the croc up to the surface. Christer handed me the rifle, telling me to be ready to shoot and grabbed a leg, trying to pull the nowâ€not so dead crocâ€ back up on the riverbank. A crocâ€™s tail and legs are obviously not very easy to get a steady hold of, so I took of my belt which Johannes tied around the tail.
-Christer and his Croc-
When the croc was back on the riverbank, I handed the rifle back to Christer, who ended the story with another Rhino bullet.
The hippo hunt went much smoother so to speak. A marauding hippo on a neighbouring farm had been made available on quota. It was together with five comrades in a large pond of the partially dried up Magalakwena. The pond formed a wetland area between bush and fields of cultivation and it was beautiful to watch the reeds with waterfowl accompanied by the snorting of the hippos. With Frederik to back him up, Christer took a shoot at 50 metres with the Mauser M03. The Rhino bullet hit it between the eyes and the huge animal sunk within seconds. It only took 15 minutes for it to surface again.
After making reasonably sure that the rest of the hippos were some hundred metres away, Frederik and an attending PH from Chattaronga safaris swam out with ropes to tow the hippo ashore. Since the water had decent croc abundance, Christer stood guard with the Rifle, should a flattie get too interested in the swimmers. Nothing dramatic happened however and the hippo was safely recovered.
-Posing behind the Hippo-
To be continuedâ€¦..
|one of us|
Good report C-F, I enjoyed the pics too. Lookig forward to the rest of your hunt report. LDK
Gray Ghost Hunting Safaris
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Hunting the Eastern Cape, RSA
16 Days in Zimbabwe: Leopard, plains game, fowl and more:
Natal: Rhino, Croc, Nyala, Bushbuck and more
Recent hunt in the Eastern Cape, August 2010: Pics added
10 days in the Stormberg Mountains
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading" - Thomas Jefferson
Every morning the Zebra wakes up knowing it must outrun the fastest Lion if it wants to stay alive. Every morning the Lion wakes up knowing it must outrun the slowest Zebra or it will starve. It makes no difference if you are a Zebra or a Lion; when the Sun comes up in Africa, you must wake up running......
"If you're being chased by a Lion, you don't have to be faster than the Lion, you just have to be faster than the person next to you."
|one of us|
Really enjoying reading your posts. You guys definitely have covered the animal kingdom spectrum.
|one of us|
That first, ancient gemsbok may be the coolest one I've ever seen. Congratulations!
|one of us|
Nice hunt. Congrats.
On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of ten thousand, who on the dawn of victory lay down their weary heads resting, and there resting, died.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
Life grows grim without senseless indulgence.
|one of us|
Great report and pictures. I had a similar experience, as reported on the other forum, with my "dead" croc in 2006. I love to hunt crocs and hippos!
|one of us|
Enjoyed the report and photos.
"ancient gemsbok" is great.
No people in history have ever
survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves
inoffensive to their enemies.
Hunt report from RSA with Mpumelelo Hunting Safaris.
And at last, a few words about my own hunting. Having hunted once before in Africa, in northern Namibia. I actually never had any chance to shoot either warthog, or impala. Therefore I wished to take both of these and of course a bushbuck.
The first day, Johannes and I stalked around and I managed to get a good warthog with 12â€ tusks. All hunting was done by foot and I enjoyed bumping into a herd of kudus, or impalas when just walking around in the bush. By the way, when walking back just after having shot the warthog, two warthogs came trotting towards us. It was obviously male and female, because when at 40 metres from us, they stopped and mated. I can therefore conclude that future generations are secured!
-My first Warthog-
The second day started with a clean miss on a big male baboon followed by aâ€Kodak momentâ€ on a nice impala ram. I didnâ€™t bring my own rifle and borrowed Frederikâ€™s lovely Musgrave .375. Being a bit unfamiliar with it, I obviously had short-stroken the bolt after the baboon miss and the impala took off in a high leapsâ€Iâ€™m-not-hurtâ€ style. Laughing and kicking myself for that mistake, Johannes and I stalked a dried out riverbed. Go away birds were present and possibly made our presence known to other inhabitants with there special cry. The bush was thick and we flushed some impalas before we could see them clearly. It was time to return to camp for brunch, when suddenly, we walked into a herd of impalas just 50 metres away. The bush was very thick, but standing upright with my binos, I could see the horns of the ram. It looked good and Johannes told me to take it. In order to see the chest (or anything else of the animal for that matter), I had to kneel down and resting the rifle against a branch I could pick a clear path for the 270 grain Rhino bullet. The impala fell in the shot and never moved. It really is one of the most beautiful antelopes and this one had horns of more than 22â€ and very thick. An old ram and I presume a younger one now leads the harem of ewes.
Another morning Frederik and I were walking silently through the bush following a track of what Frederik said could be a very old kudu bull. Earlier we had been within 40 metres of a kudu herd, but a steenbok had walked into us and alarmed the kudus. I had also passed up a very nice Gemsbuck and Frederik probably thought about me as a bloody boring client.. Now, I hadnâ€™t really thought about shooting a kudu either, having a decent one from Namibia. However, when we came across that track I thought it was worth to follow and see whoâ€™s feet were in it at the end. As often is the case, plans changed, and this time they did so when a warthog took off at our right side. Through the dust, Frederik could see it had too much teeth and hisâ€itâ€™s good! Take it! Take it!â€ made me raise the Musgrave only to see nothing except from bush through the scope. The hog had run another 20 metres and was now facing us. In order to see it and get a reasonably clear bullet path, I once more had to crouch down slightly and having nothing on which to support the rifle it was probably quite ugly looking shooting position. Through the waving scope and between leaves and dust I got a glimpse of white and a moment after that the shot went of. The warthog rolled over and kicked for some seconds, but was dead and still when we got up to it. â€The others gonna envy you for this oneâ€ said Frederik. The tusks were somewhere around 13 inches long, I was a bit lucky the frontal shot hadnâ€™t cut that in half and it was a wonderful morning.
-The big Warthog-
I was quite happy, but as Iâ€™ve mentioned earlier, I wanted a bushbuck badly.
On the last hunting dayâ€™s morning, I set out along the Magalakwena River, seeing plenty of bushbuck females, monkeys and passed up a nice duiker. Suddenly a bushbuck male with what looked like nice horns crossed the road on which I was walking approximately 150 metres in front of me. When coming up to that place, all that was to be seen was two females feeding 20 metres alongside the road. The wind was OK and they didnâ€™t notice the presence of man. It felt very good to be soâ€in the middle of natureâ€ without being seen or scented. I wondered where the male was and after a while one of the ewes lifted its head and looked forward. There, behind a small bush was the male together with a third female. Horn wise, he wasnâ€™t as big as the one Lennart had shot, but they were big enough for me. A step to the side to get a clear shot resulted in a bark from one of the females next to me as they took off. My first shot was hurried (I admit I was a bit nervous) and hit a tree trunk just above the bushbuck. His fiancÃ© ran away, but he remained motionless as a statue. My second shot came in quick succession, hit him in the spine and he was down. I gave him one more bullet and he was dead.
That afternoon, the last afternoon, we just went around watching animals. The area along the Limpopo River is particularly nice for photography and game viewing, and elephants come there frequently. Sometimes in herds of 70. Some from our party actually heard them tearing down branches and trumpeting one afternoon.
The eveningâ€™s dinner of croc-tail tasted good as did the GT. When summing it up, everyone was very satisfied. Hunting had been quite hard and I think that working for oneâ€™s trophies makes them more valuable. Altogether, we had shot 35 heads of game between the 6 hunters of us. The non-hunter, Jenny had enjoyed her stay as well having relaxed in and around camp, often in the company of the farm ownerâ€™s two tame banded mongooses.
The next day, the 18th we returned to Pretoria for a short rest and shower at a hotel. We then proceeded to the airport in Johannesburg where we after many hours of waiting were told that our KLM-flight back north would be delayed with at least 24 hours, but thatâ€™s another story.
|one of us|
Damn nice rifle where did you get it wish I had one like that !
Sleeping under the African Sky I cannot see anything wrong with the world !
thanks for your compliments! To sum it up, the whole arrangement was very well organized. Christer Hansson had planned for every situation during the trip to and from Sweden and once in RSA, he and Frederik Cocquyt worked together to ensure a trouble-free stay for us clients. The accomodation and food was very good and I valued the fact that we had no nasty surprises, such as added costs or lost hunting time. What was promised at the time of booking, was what we got.
Further, Frederik and the other PH's worked hard to give us good hunting - i.e. not only shooting. A hunt with Mpumelelo comes highly recommended and my feeling is that one can expect a relaxing and hassle-free stay.
Got the rifle from some bloke in Pretoria. The nice thing is that he is keeping it for me down there until I get down next time;-)
|one of us|
Sounds like a great hunt with nice trophies
"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition."
|one of us|
Lots a' fun!
MARK H. YOUNG
MARK'S EXCLUSIVE ADVENTURES
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LAS VEGAS, NV 89166
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|one of us|
Hi!! really nice pictures lots of fun it seems!!but the video that you made the first trips in Rsa where you shoot bushbuck with light and the pigs with light its not wery nice!!bush buck is supposed to be shot during daytime so shooting a topp hushbuck tropy with light in the late night is not to wery proud of!!else the dvd was wert good!!
Rauma Hunting and Fishing Safaris
|one of us|
Sounds like a good time with a nice mixed bag. I particularly like the old gemsbok and the big warthog.
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